Wednesday, February 3, 2016

#Nonfiction: 'Tinder Box: The Iroquois Theatre Disaster 1903'


Tinder Box: The Iroquois Theatre Disaster 1903Tinder Box: The Iroquois Theatre Disaster 1903 by Anthony P. Hatch

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is really well-written and well-researched, but what happened in 1903 is so terribly, terribly sad. Seriously, don't read this book if you'll be disturbed by gruesome injuries and deaths caused by horrible accidents. Not only was there a fire, but there was a panic, and the poor design of the theater caused a lot of deaths by crush asphyxia, a particularly horrible way to die.

But if you can stomach the nauseating details, it's a fascinating glimpse into life in Chicago in the early 20th century, a scathing look into the devastation caused by Gilded Age laissez-faire capitalism, and an importance lesson for the public spaces of today. This book is about 10 years old now, but the importance of preventing panics in theaters is very high when now we have to worry about random acts of violence, such as the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting.

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This was a library book I checked out from HooplaDigital.com, and I was not obligated to review it in any way. This review represents my own honest opinion.

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